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About this series
Jesus Unfiltered - Believe
When life gets really hard, because of choices you've made, or circumstances in which you find yourself, wouldn't it be great to know you've got the source of all wisdom and strength right there with you? That's what Jesus promised you could have. That's what He longs to do for you. Knowing the real Jesus is the most important relationship you will ever have. Chip Ingram reveals, from Scripture, who Jesus really is and how you can have this relationship - beginning today and for forever!More from this series
I would like to have you lean back and I have a profile of four women. I have changed their names. They are women that you know. Some of them are your neighbors, friends, some of them are daughters of people that you know from school.
Jennifer is in junior high. Her body and her emotions are changing rapidly, her mom is busy with two jobs, her dad lives out of state. She has a yearning to deeply connect, relationally – to be loved, to be important especially to a man. Her mind often still thinks like a little girl, but her body is reaching adulthood.
Older boys have started noticing her. She learns to give sex to get what feels like love. And by her sixteenth birthday she has been there and done that.
Debbie is a senior in high school. She really found true love. They have been going together for about a year and a half, the last years of high school. She has had one abortion, her boyfriend has gone away to college, and they have decided that they will stay in touch. It’s going to be great. And someday they will get married. Except he came home from spring break and let her know that he found someone new. She feels alone, abandoned, desperate. She smiles on the outside, she is dying on the inside, she is doing things she never did before.
She got drunk, she is sleeping around, and she feels like there is no hope for her future. She has been there and she has done that.
Late twenties and mid-thirties Sarah is burned out. She lived with her college fling for about three years, they had a child together, got married quickly, divorced a couple of years later. She has now lived with two other guys in the last twelve years. She dropped out of college to help support her family, she is bitter, she is wounded, and she is tired. She looks really great on the outside, she has learned how to get what she wants from a man, everything that is, but love.
Now she feels empty, she is raising a child on her own, she feels like life is passing her by and at thirty-two, she feels a lot older than she is.
Finally, there is mid-life Nancy who is making the best of a really bad situation. She has got two teenagers and a ten-year-old. She is still working through the emotions of her divorce. Life after his affair shattered her world. Her violent outburst actually shocked her. She is barely making it, financially. She has no hope, no future, but keeps a good face on for the kids. She aches with loneliness, she keeps replaying the tapes in her mind of poor choices that she made, and vacillates between feeling sorry for herself, depressed, guilty, and self-hatred and white-hot anger toward those who have hurt her.
Her life is nearly half over and she feels like she has been there and she has done that.
I would like to suggest that these four stories, not their real names, are all over where we live and you know them, or you will meet them.
And the question I have is, If Jesus walked into a local coffee shop and sat down with that junior higher or senior or thirty-two-year-old or mid-life woman who has been wounded and hurt and is angry and been used – what would He say? How would He help? How would He view them? And that is what we are going to find out today.
If you’ll look at your notes, we are going to find that He meets a woman exactly like this, and here is what I want you to get. He is going to walk into a coffee shop or in a living room and He is going to have a conversation with them. But the odd part about this conversation, it won’t be Him in His physical body. It will be Him in His spiritual body, called “the Church,” and the person that He is going to talk to them through is you.
Because He lives in you if you are a follower of Christ and you will speak the words of life to them. That’s the plan. And so, what I want to do is help you understand, well, How could I do that?
And when you get on the same page and love and care for people, I want to tell you that God has divine appointments for you in the next few weeks, the next few months, and in this year where you will be, Jesus in you, loving and helping people, and He has divine appointments.
So with that, if you’ll look at your notes, I’m going to walk you through the process that I learned from Jesus, that He is passing on me to pass on to you. And so you’ll look, God wants to use you to share His Word and so we have learned, What does it say? What does it mean? What does it mean to me? How do you pass it on? Write the word, communication.
You want to learn to make observations of the Bible, you want to learn to do interpretation, you want to learn to apply it to your own life, and then you want to learn to communicate. God’s plan was never that we come into a room, talk to one another about God, and go into our little corners, and live our life. The game plan was that He would speak to us, transform us, and then lovingly, we would communicate that truth by how we live and what we say.
And so, are you ready? In your notes, you’ll notice at the very top, I put a summary. That’s just the big idea. I have made the observations. So in verses 1 through 9, here is the big idea.
Basically, what Jesus is going to say is Jesus breaks through barriers. He is going to break through gender barriers, cultural barriers.
So follow along as I read. “The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John – although in fact it was not Jesus who was baptizing, but His disciples. When the Lord learned of this He left Judea and went back at once to Galilee. Now He had to go through Samaria,” would you put a little box around the word, “had to”? We’ll come back to that.
“So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus was tired as He was from His journey, and so He sat down by the well. And it was about the sixth hour,” or noon our time.
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give Me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy some food.) The Samaritan woman said to Him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.’” She accents grammatically on woman. “‘How can You ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”
Now if you understand the culture and what is going on here, you’re going to see that He is going to break down a gender barrier, a racial barrier, a social barrier, a cultural barrier, and a religious barrier. Whatever He has to do to let this woman know He loves her.
Now, what we know and it’s important to know, is that this woman is coming out at noon because most women come out in the early morning. Her jar is, actually a jar, it’s a leather type pouch that is woven together. You can fold it when you travel. The well is one hundred feet deep; it is still there today. And it has a hole in the top and sort of a cover, a large, large cover. And, actually, in the text is says, “Jesus,” is literally sitting on the edge of the well. Jews and Samaritans, notice the text says, He is going from Judea in the south up to Galilee. All right? He is going south to north. If you walked directly, you have to go through Samaria. Jews thought that Samaritans were so defiled that they would walk another two or two and half, sometimes three days to get up to this region so they didn’t have to touch the ground that a Samaritan was on.
They had five hundred years of hatred for one another. The Samaritans had developed their own kind of religion, they only accepted the first five books of the Bible with Moses. They worshipped on this mountain, Mount Gerizim. The Jews over here on Mount Zion. And so they hated one another.
Jesus is going right through Samaria, breaking geographical, cultural barriers. When a Jew was out, not just alone, but a Jewish man never spoke to a woman in public. A rabbi would not even make eye contact. In fact, they had a group of rabbis called “The blue and the bruised.” When a woman would come, they would cover their eyes and they would bump into stuff. Literally. This is true. Because they didn’t want to be defiled.
So this woman comes up, culturally, when she gets about twenty feet away, Jesus is vulnerable. He doesn’t have, He is thirsty, He is tired, He has nothing to get it. He doesn’t move. She keeps coming closer. She is coming at noon, not in the morning when most women come, because she has had five husbands, is currently living with a guy, she is an immoral person, and on the totem pole of social value, somewhere between the very bottom of the bottom she is a worthless person who no one cares about.
But notice, He had to go through Samaria. In Greek, there are three little words, it means, “A divine necessity.” In English you would translate it, “DEI.” It’s a day of necessity.
When this is put in the Scripture, it’s, for purposes we may not understand, there is a divine necessity for He had to go through. Not because it was shorter, but because of God’s plan.
And so He is on it, she gets about twenty feet away, He doesn’t move. And then He does the unthinkable! “Will you give Me a drink of water?” Wait a minute. He is dressed, He’s a rabbi, He is a Jew, He is speaking to me. One, two, three strikes. This is unbelievable. She gets closer. Now, He wouldn’t, a Jew would never drink out of a cup or something that a Samaritan had – it would be defiled. He not only speaks to her, “Would you give Me a drink?” That means she is going to dip her water down in there and He would drink out of it. “How are You, a Jew, speaking to me, a woman?”
He gets up and the conversation starts. And then notice what He does. This is a woman who has been used and abused. She has certainly made some bad choices. But most people who go through multiple men and are promiscuous, have been wounded or abused and hurt and are looking for satisfaction and worth and value and her life is totally messed up.
And Jesus does something very humble. He puts Himself in a position of need rather than authority and said, “Would you give Me a drink? I don’t have anything.” He says, “I need your help.”
And notice at the bottom of your notes, here’s the lesson. We must intentionally break through any and every barrier to the gospel. Jew and Samaritan, male and female, rabbi and Samaritan, social barriers, whatever it takes. And then He humbles Himself.
Like you, I am praying that God will help my neighbors come to have a personal relationship with Jesus and when we first moved in, I have one neighbor who we have actually become good friends now but he made it very clear early on, “Look, I’m not a good neighbor. Okay? Don’t bother me. I’ve got a reputation in the community,” and a couple other people confirmed that reputation. “And don’t mess with me and,” and just was like, the walls were coming up. Then he heard I was a pastor. Ooh.
And it’s kind of like, “Hey, don’t give me any of that Jesus stuff either.” He didn’t quite say it like that. But a little later I found out he came from a background where – not a good religious experience and he really has rebelled and just, you know? “And so, I just want you to know, forget it.”
And we tried little things and helping out and doing things and praying and didn’t see lots of results. I just remember, doing some stuff in our garage and I was trying to cover something. It took two people.
And I remember thinking, and so I went over, I just asked him, “Could you give me a hand?” And he looked at me. “Now, I really need your help.” And he came over with me and as we were doing it. And these kinds of things, everyone is smarter than me. He goes, “Actually, you ought to do this and do that and do that.” He always has lots of good suggestions or at least suggestions.
And so anyway, we did it his way and we got done and something happened. Just something happened. Something happened because this isn’t the pastor who is going to tell him what he ought, be, should. I needed help. Remember, this is how you build relationships.
See, sometimes we think, as Christians, we are supposed to fix people and tell them what they ought to do and, We’ve got all this “something” and they need. Jesus models just the opposite. Who are the people at work that you need to ask help? Who is a neighbor that you need to ask help for? You build relationship when there is mutual need.
The second big section is Jesus offers to quench her deepest thirst. There is going to be a bit of play on words, there is going to be physical water and spiritual water. And Jesus, verse 10, answers her.
“If you knew,” underline the word, gift. “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink,” underline the word, who. See, no one cares about this lady. No one. And His first response is He has a gift and if she understood who He was, you would ask Him and He would give you living water.
“‘Sir,” the woman said,” she looks at Him, “You have nothing to draw with and the well is very deep.” Actually, it’s one hundred feet deep. “Where will you get living water?” And then she throws in a little sarcasm. That would be impossible, one hundred foot well, living water, this running water that’s a fountain that’s even better than well water, You’re saying You could offer it, You don’t have anything…
“Are You greater than our father Jacob,” and, grammatically, it’s like, No way, “‘who gave us this well, drank from it himself, and also his sons and his flocks and his herds?’ Jesus answered,” now He is making the parallel, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.” And He is tapping in, thirst is a metaphor for: What satisfies? Physical stuff, physical – you drink, you get thirsty again. You drink, you get thirsty again. “But whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I will give him will become,” notice, “in him a spring of water welling up to,” change of topic, “eternal life.” He is offering her eternal life.
“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and have to come back here and draw water again.’” Just like the play on words, Nicodemus, the word Spirit and wind? Now there is physical water and He is speaking of the Holy Spirit in relationship, “And your life revolves around coming out here alone as a desperate, lonely woman who is wounded, because you are rejected by the women and by everyone in the town and you are promiscuous – past and present.”
If “gift,” who it is, God, I want to give you not just something to fix your temporary life. I want to fix your heart, I want to forgive you, I want to restore you, I want to put you on a new path, I want you to know that no one else may think you’re valuable. I made you, I love you, I think you’re valuable, and I want to help you.
And she doesn’t quite get it. Basically, she gets the idea that it might be sort of magical water. If I don’t have to make this trip all the time, that sounds good.
Here’s the life lesson, the application, the timeless principle – grace, not condemnation is what draws people to Jesus.